New York – Last weekend, at Sotheby’s in New York, a standing-room only crowd helped raise more than $26 million for The Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. The star-studded audience gathered for The (RED) Auction celebrating design and innovation, which had been curated by Sir Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson in collaboration with musician and activist Bono. The sale exceeded all expectations totaling more than $13 million, which was matched by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The high-energy salesroom saw a remarkable three lots bring more than $1.5 million, including the two items designed in their entirety by Jony and Marc – a unique Leica Digital Rangefinder Camera, which sold for $1.8 million and a unique aluminum desk produced by Neal Feay Studio, which brought $1.7 million.
Throughout the evening, the crowd of more than 1,000 guests, including The Edge, Chelsea Clinton, Helena Christensen, Meg Ryan, Jenna and Barbara Bush, Hayden Panettiere, Larry Gagosian, Dieter Rams, Gayle King, and Mario Batali, was treated to a number of spectacular surprises: before auctioneer Oliver Barker opened bidding on lot 12, the Steinway & Sons unique
“Red Pops for (RED)” Parlor Grand Piano, Coldplay’s Chris Martin took to the stage to sing ‘Perfect Day’ and ‘Beautiful Day’ with Bono. The performance inspired more than a dozen bidders to compete for the piano, which was finally won by philanthropist Stewart Rahr for $1.9 million.
Later in the evening, lot 23, the Azzedine Alaïa pink couture long ruffle dress, was revealed in the salesroom worn by supermodel Christy Turlington before it sold to applause for $149,000. The final surprise of the evening came at the end of the auction when the Gretsch Electromatic “(RED) Zero Generation” Bono “Signature” Guitar was added to the auction and sold for $250,000.
After the final fall of the hammer, guests made their way to Sotheby’s spectacular 10th floor galleries to be entertained at the after party by Nile Rodgers and Chic, as well as Angelique Kidjo.